The very first accommodation to arrive at Bai Xep, Avani is a surprising five-star option with nothing comparable for many miles in either direction of Qui Nhon. Formerly the Life Wellness Resort, new ownership and a renovation in 2014-2015 means this resort continues to be a superb luxurious retreat.
Anchoring the southern corner of Bai Xep beach and perched on higher ground guarded by beautiful rock formations, Avani offers rest and relaxation in an elegant fashion. It fills in a much needed niche in this part of Vietnam—consider that there are no other high-end boutique resorts catering to foreign travellers all the way north until Hoi An, nothing south until you hit Whale Island, Doc Let and Nha Trang.
Zen and wellness is the emphasis of the resort and it’s reflected in the style, setting and offerings. The infinity pool gives a stellar view of the ocean, while the spa is even higher, set atop a lush jungle shrouded hill. It’s a gorgeous place, though the sound of the waves does mingle with the constant sound of cars passing, slightly distracting from the experience.
Passing traffic aside, the spa is well priced and there are other ways to work away the stress such as complimentary yoga classes, meditation and a gym, not to mention the volleyball net on the beach, kayaks and loungers.
Room interiors are pretty and the eclectic mix of exposed brick walls, sleek natural wood furniture, contemporary bathroom in sandy soft earth tones and bamboo accents works well. Amenities include minibar, air-con, WiFi, balcony/terrace and a view.
The restaurant tables, set along the rock, overlook both Bai Xep and the private stretch of sand on the other side which we were told would be turned into a 24-villa Anantara resort. The menu is the usual Vietnamese and western fare, quite pricey so factor that into the budget. We didn’t dine here but during our stay at Big Tree Backpackers, a family who were guests at Avani came to the hostel’s restaurant every night, saying they found it to be better value.
Avani is clearly for those without budget constraints—expect a healthy, indulgent reward.
Address: South end of Bai Xep beach
T: (056) 3840 132;
Coordinates (for GPS): 109º13'57.5" E, 13º40'55.56" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over US$100
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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